Interlibrary Loan

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Interlibrary Borrowing?

Interlibrary Borrowing(ILB) borrows library materials and obtains copies of articles from other libraries for current UNC-Chapel Hill faculty, students, and staff.

Who is eligible?

Students, faculty, and staff who are currently affiliated with UNC-Chapel Hill may submit interlibrary loan requests. If you are affiliated with Health Affairs or the Law School, contact the Health Sciences Library or Law Library.

If you are not UNC-Chapel Hill faculty, student or staff but want access to materials owned by the UNC-Chapel Hill Libraries, please contact your local library.

What if I forget my password?

Note: Your password is your ONYEN password. Visit to retrieve a forgotten password.

What can I borrow?

Interlibrary loan is available for items not owned by the UNC-Chapel Hill campus libraries, for items missing from our collections, and for items at the bindery.

Books being used as required texts in current classes cannot be requested through interlibrary loan. Materials on reserve, reference or microform items, and other items designated as non-circulating at the UNC-Chapel Hill Libraries are not eligible to be requested. Items that are checked out at UNC-Chapel Hill are generally not eligible to be requested, though exceptions are made for items held at N. C. State, Duke, or N. C. Central. Items such as audiovisual (CDs, DVDs, videos, etc.) materials, whole journal issues, genealogical works, rare books and manuscripts may be requested, but are difficult to obtain through Interlibrary Loan.

Note: Due to copyright restrictions, we cannot request more than one article from a single issue of a periodical published within the last 5 years. (If you have questions, email us at or phone us at 919-962-1326.)

How do I submit a request?

First time users need to create a Carolina BLU account by completing an online registration form. Start at the Carolina BLU page, login with your ONYEN and password

Before submitting an interlibrary loan request, please check the UNC-Chapel Hill online catalog to see if one of the campus libraries owns the materials you need. If you need an article from a journal, be sure to check the E-journal finder to see if the journal is available online.

Once you know that material is not available, log on to your Carolina BLU account and submit your request. Make sure to use the correct form (Loan, Copy, or Thesis) when requesting items through Interlibrary Borrowing. Also, make sure you have as complete a citation as possible before submitting your request.

What is Interlibrary Searching?

Faculty, students, and staff of TRLN institutions can use their institution’s search engine to search for resources across the coalition. For example, UNC students can use the UNC Catalog to search for materials at Duke, NC State, and NC Central. Requests are handled by the Interlibrary Loan offices at each campus.

How long does it take?

Plan ahead when requesting materials. While we try to fill your request as quickly as possible, please remember it will take some time. Requests filled by Duke or NC State libraries usually take two to four working days. Materials from other libraries may take longer, up to two or three weeks or more. Allow more time for unusual or specialized materials. Please enter a specific date on the “Not Wanter After” line on the borrowing request form.

How much will it cost?

Most requests do not result in a charge to the individual patron. If there is a charge, you will be contacted prior to sending the request. Charges may be paid with cash, check, credit card, or by charging a departmental account. If there is a charge involved, the item is held in the Interlibrary Borrowing office. The ILB office is located on the first floor of Davis Library (Room 115) and is open Monday – Friday, 9:00am-4:30pm.


Pickup Locations

You may select a specific library as your pickup location, or may choose home delivery by mail.

Pickup at Library Service Desk

  • You may select a specific library as your pickup location. An email pickup notice will be sent to you when books are available.
  • Most items can be picked up at the Service Desk of your pickup location whenever that Library is open.
  • It will take 2 or more business days for your material to arrive at its destination. Please plan accordingly.

Delivery by Contactless Pickup

Delivery by Mail

You may select to have materials delivered to you by mail at no cost, with return shipping included

  • Delivery by mail is available to all active UNC faculty, students and staff living in the continental United States.
  • Delivery by mail is available for most circulating items that UNC University Libraries owns. Media, equipment, and Interlibrary Loan items are not eligible.
  • Note: if you have previously set a Default Pickup Location, you will need to change that default in order to select Delivery by Mail. See next section.

Default Pickup Location

When you first register for a Carolina BLU account, select your Pickup Location from the dropdown menu.

If you already have a Carolina BLU account:

  • Log into your account
  • Select “Change User Information”
  • Select a Pickup Location from the dropdown menu
  • Submit Information

How do I request a renewal?

Request a renewal through your Carolina BLU account. Renewals must be made by the day BEFORE the due date. The lending library sets the loan period and some libraries do not allow renewals.


We deliver articles electronically by default in PDF format. Log on to your Carolina BLU account; on the main menu, choose “Electronically Received Articles.” This will give you a list of all items that you have waiting to view or download.

Who do I contact if I have problems or questions?

Direct questions about borrowing  to the  Interlibrary Borrowing office Monday-Friday, 9:00-4:30. Our office is in Davis Library, Room 115.

You can send email to or phone us at (919) 962-1326. After hours, please ask for assistance at Davis Library Service Desk or online chat.